Discerning living at 5955 Balsam

5955 Balsam - Kerrisdale Living | Condo in Vancouver

I’ve long been troubled by the duplicitousness of the Vancouver identity. If you accept for a second that there is such a thing as the Vancouver identity, then you know it’s wrapped in enough paradoxes and ironies to make Baudrillard blush. Better than anyone else, Vancouverites can talk the talk about the environment, eco-density, and all the things needed to make the world a better place. Just make sure someone else does the work to make the change.

Welcome to Kerrisdale, Vancouver’s home to the rich and nimby, where populist politics are all the rage up until the point of taking action. In this low-density mecca of mansion homes, residents are likely to be found voicing support for green living and better transit all the while idling in their SUVs looking for the perfect place to park and grab a coffee in a take-out cup.

But as the Kerrisdale cult grows older, the kids leave the home and the neighbourhood’s population drops to even greater lows, what is there to do? The solution from George Wong at Platinum Project Marketing is to go out and buy another house.

And that brings us to 5955 Balsam, a Kerrisdale condo designed for the upper-crust of Vancouver’s creme. With multi-level garden, tower and penthouse homes starting at more than 1,200 square feet, these are gargantuan residences by Vancouver standards. Is this necessary in the city that’s supposedly all about eco-density? Here’s how a Platinum sales manager makes it all make sense:

We think 5955 Balsam will appeal to the discerning elderly who want to maintain a west-side lifestyle, but do not want the stairs or the maintenance of the large family home.

Additionally, we expect strong interest from discerning empty nesters who are of the modern mindset that ‘there is life after kids and retirement,’ who want to get out of the large home with the maintenance and get into the lock-up-and-go apartment, travel, eat out and start adventuring.

The operative word here is ‘discerning.’ These people will come from large custom homes and will not compromise on the ‘sense’ of space or quality.

So, you’re telling me that only those who’ve lived in large, custom-built homes know what quality is? That would be funny if it wasn’t so oppressive. My apologies for being middle class.

Speaking of oppression, check out this description of 5955 Balsam’s amenities as detailed by the Vancouver Sun:

The grounds will have a ‘Great Lawn,’ for pet runs; a lawn bowling and croquet green; a fireside terrace for resident gatherings; and a ‘poet’s corner’ . . . a secluded area in the extensive landscaped garden where one can contemplate, meditate and ruminate.

Call me anti-social but I don’t think a fireside gathering of Kerrisdale old timers is my idea of a good time. And what’s with the poet’s corner? Would you pay $800,000 to listen to Jennifer Clarke-types wax nostalgic about the 2002 election in iambic pentameter?

According to Wong, 5955 Balsam is a project unlike any other that will come again in a lifetime. By this he means the package of concrete construction, views, and the developer’s name. The Vancouver Sun backs him on the once-in-a-lifetime stuff, saying Wong “does not issue superlatives easily or readily.”

If this isn’t condo hype at its finest, I don’t know what is.

16 Responses to “Discerning living at 5955 Balsam”

  1. jesse Says:

    Assuming that everyone living on the Westside is hypocritical is a bit of a stretch. Vancouver has lots of smart, wealthy, and, yes, “right wing pro-business free market” people: just the sort who would buy such a condo without any scuffs on their consciences.

  2. Paul Says:

    My favorite is the tiny little text that they have on the website which, if I have discerned correctly, may be a little hard for their target to fully discern themselves without the help of a magnifying glass.

    As for the pokes at the Kerrisdalites, it actually seems that the snobbery in Vancouver is greater the further EAST you go (read: Commercial Dr.)……it’s a weird little paradigm in this largely unstratified city. Food for thought.

  3. 2rude Says:

    ‘poet’s corner’ . . . a secluded area in the extensive landscaped garden where one can contemplate, meditate and ruminate.

    When I heard secluded area, all I could think about was, an “area in the extensive landscaped garden where one can contemplate, meditate and unrinate”.

  4. duran Says:

    In two lines, underneath the picture, “Luxury” is mentioned twice… twice!!! That’s two times in nine words! I guess all they’re working the Pavlov angle… drool.

  5. condohype Says:

    A bit of a stretch? Jesse you’re being kind. I’m the first to admit that my writing is drunk with hyperbole.

  6. dingus Says:

    “the snobbery in Vancouver is greater the further EAST you go”

    Yes, I was thinking about that as I parked my Volvo Cross Country in front of Capers so I could get my weekly fix of Rainforest Crunch and Fair Trade Organic Shade Grown coffee. I’m sooooo sick of those Commercial Drive snobs, with their haughty tattoos, low rider bikes, basement apartments and minimum wage jobs looking down their noses at me. I’m green — I recycle and I bought some canvas bags to put my groceries in! I’m no conformist — check out these Birkenstocks and my greying ponytail. I’m also still into the local musci scene — I’ve got tickets to see the Police, how cool is that! But those East Side snobs. Man, they’re a drag.

  7. Paul Says:

    “Yes, I was thinking about that as I parked my Volvo Cross Country in front of Capers so I could get my weekly fix of Rainforest Crunch and Fair Trade Organic Shade Grown coffee. I’m sooooo sick of those Commercial Drive snobs, with their haughty tattoos, low rider bikes, basement apartments and minimum wage jobs looking down their noses at me. I’m green — I recycle and I bought some canvas bags to put my groceries in! I’m no conformist — check out these Birkenstocks and my greying ponytail. I’m also still into the local musci scene — I’ve got tickets to see the Police, how cool is that! But those East Side snobs. Man, they’re a drag.”

    See what I mean?

    Vancouver’s altruism-fueled socio-political elitism is really quite funny to watch in action.

  8. dingus Says:

    “altruism-fueled socio-political elitism”

    That’s what I was thinking about that as I parked my low rider bike in front of the tattoo parlour where I was going to get a new tongue stud and get Che Guevera’s face tattooed on my back. I’m sooooo sick of the West Side elites that run this city, with their psuedo conformist bourgeois lives and arbitrary rules. They don’t care about social justice issues like me getting evicted from my apartment just because I couldn’t pay my rent. Society can’t turn me into a cog in its corporate machine by making be conform to its bogus 9-5 agenda! But they punish you for that, man. Fire your *ss just cause you can’t get out of bed or sell their crappy products with a sh*t-eating grin on your face. Sucks that I’ll have to borrow money from my grandma again. Man, is my caseworker gonna be sorry to see me again — this time I’m really gonna let her know what I think of this crappy society when I pick up my welfare cheque. Fight the power!

  9. Paul Says:

    Said it before, can say it again…..see what I mean?

    Nice work, keep ’em comin’.
    Condohype has its very own Geoff Olson now.

    Vancouver is a place where everyone is better than someone else for all the wrong reasons.

  10. dingus Says:

    And everyone gets outraged for all the wrong reasons.

  11. Paul Says:

    Fair.

    Vancouver: Against everything and for nothing.

  12. dingus Says:

    Doesn’t have to be. What are you for?

  13. Paul Says:

    Dialogue.

  14. Jenni Says:

    I liked it better when we just made fun of the condo ads.

  15. dingus Says:

    Me too. “Dialogue” is far too earnest an objective. I apologize for my role in eliciting that.

  16. chris Says:

    Your rant must have worked… George Wong is not marketing this project anymore, it’s MAC

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